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Healthy choices at North Avenue food mart

Thanks for the recent article highlighting two businesses that are working to provide healthier food choices in Baltimore ("Two city stores move to close health gap," June 18).

I work in the office complex next to Apples & Oranges, one of the highlighted businesses, and have the luxury of being able to purchase lunch once or twice a week when I am at the office.

Until the opening of Apples & Oranges, there weren't great options in the area, only McDonald's, Wendy's and Subway. I know enough about nutrition that I can make good choices at these restaurants, but I would prefer to have a freshly made turkey sandwich or pick up some yogurt and fruit salad at Apples & Oranges.

For a while I've wondered if this type of store could survive in this location. It was empty a few times when I was there. But lately I've seen more and more customers, many with children, shopping in the store. I've seen carts full of healthier options. The other day I heard a request for fresh raspberries (they were out, but there were some great blueberries on sale). So I am hopeful.

The staff at Apples & Oranges goes out of its way to make one welcome. I remarked to a co-worker the other day that I had more people say hello to me during my quick 10-minute visit to Apples & Oranges than I had all day.

The produce is fresh, and the shelves are stocked with a variety of interesting and healthful products. The store is clean and well laid out. I hope more people will stop by to check it out. And I hope that Michele Speaks-March will be there to provide shopping and budgeting tips.

I don't know if your article will get folks along North Avenue into the store to shop, but I do know that I will be going back. Whether for lunch or to pick up a few items at the end of the day, I want to see this store stick around to make a difference in a community that deserves better than a corner store full of junk food.

Thanks for highlighting the efforts of the March family to make this corner of Baltimore City a better place.

Lisa Mathias, Baltimore

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